- Associated Press - Thursday, April 14, 2016

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - No matter who takes the mound for the opposing team, the San Diego Padres can’t do anything.

Vince Velasquez struck out a career-high 16 in a dominant three-hitter, Ryan Howard homered and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Padres 3-0 Thursday.

The Padres became the first time in major league history to be shut out five times in the first 10 games. They scored one run - with two outs in the ninth on Wednesday - in the last three games.

“We have to be more competitive,” manager Andy Green said. “It’s time for us to make more mental adjustments in the box.”

The Padres didn’t score a run in the first 30 innings this season and were blanked by Dodgers starters Clayton Kershaw, Scott Kazmir and Kenta Maeda in the first three games. After an offensive outburst in Colorado, they were shut down by Charlie Morton and Velasquez in Philadelphia.

“It was just his day,” Alexi Amarista said of Velasquez. “He had a real good fastball and curveball.”

Amarista had two of San Diego’s three hits.

Lefty Drew Pomeranz (1-1) was the hard-luck loser. He tied his career best with eight strikeouts in six innings, allowing three hits and two runs.

“We’re really pleased with him,” Green said. “I know he’d like to have two pitches back, both to Howard.”

Velasquez (2-0) had no walks and extended his scoreless streak to 15 innings with his first shutout in nine career starts. The 23-year-old right-hander, acquired in the trade that sent former closer Ken Giles to Houston, had nine strikeouts in six innings in a 1-0 win at the New York Mets last Saturday.

Wearing short sleeves on a crisp afternoon, Velasquez blew fastballs past overmatched hitters and kept them off-balance with a biting curve. He struck out the side in the eighth, reaching 97 mph a couple times.

Velasquez retired the last 14 batters he faced. He fanned Wil Myers on a 96 mph fastball to end it, threw both arms up in the air and jumped off the mound.

“I’ve never seen him before, but he had real good stuff,” Melvin Upton Jr. said.

Howard hit a towering drive out to left-center in the second inning for his third homer. His sacrifice fly made it 2-0 in the sixth.

STANDINGS

Padres: They fell to 3-7 with their third loss in a row.

Phillies: Evened their record at 5-5 with their second consecutive series win. First time they’re at .500 since they were 3-3 in 2015.

BLOOPERS

The Padres allowed a routine fly ball drop for the fourth straight game when CF Jon Jay lost Peter Bourjos’ popup in the sun and it bounced off his glove. It was scored a double.

UP NEXT

Padres: RHP James Shields (0-2, 4.85) starts against Arizona Friday night in the opener of a three-game series that kicks off a nine-game homestand. RHP Zack Greinke (0-2, 9.90) goes for the Diamondbacks.

FEAST OR FAMINE

In the five games they weren’t shut out, the Padres have 37 runs.

“We have to find a way to get more consistent at-bats,” Green said.


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